Wuhan China , 1 October 2020 : Crowd of people wearing surgical face mask on the 2020 China national day and first day of golden week holidays in Jianghan pedestrian road in Wuhan Hubei China

8 Golden Ideas for China’s Golden Week 2020

Ho Khinwai
Ho Khinwai

China’s National Day Golden Week (黄金周) is one of two week-long holidays in China, and it starts off with commemorating the founding of the People’s Republic of China on 1st October.

Historically, Golden Week had existed to encourage the public to spend more and boost the domestic economy, following the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. The initiative worked – and year after year, Golden Week marked the peak period of consumption as many Chinese use this time to make travels, discretionary purchases, and hold celebrations.

This year, Golden Week coincides with the Mid-Autumn Festival and runs from 1st October to 8th October (Thursday).

With Golden Week coming to an end and stock markets reopening on Friday, we think it’s interesting to explore the businesses that may benefit from this yearly holiday – especially businesses that may get a special boost from this year’s unique events (namely the COVID-19 pandemic and Mid-Autumn Festival).

PS: While we do mention businesses that are listed on the Chinese or Hong Kong stock exchanges, this is not a recommendation to invest in them. If you find something interesting, you should take this post merely as a starting point for your own due diligence.

Domestic Tourism

Many Chinese usually enjoy travelling out of the country during the Golden Week. However, as travel out of China is still restricted this year, domestic tourism has been given a strong boost. The Chinese are choosing to travel across cities, back to their hometowns or to leisure scenic spots.

According to ForwardKeys, domestic flight bookings have recovered to pre-COVID levels. Specifically in areas such as Macau and Sanya city in Hainan where growth spurts in travel bookings were reported.

Source: ForwardKeys, in a post from Vogue Business

In another report, Guosheng Securities highlighted that hotel room rates have increased 20% year-on-year and customized tours have also seen a 24% increase since last year.

Interesting companies that may benefit from Golden Week

Tourism

Emei Shan is a famous mountain in the Leshan city of Sichuan province, and is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China. The site has been conferred a UNESCO World Heritage status in 1996. With an altitude of over 3000m above sea level and a scenic view overlooking dense forests, the mountain has been a go-to for both local and foreign tourists.

Emei Shan Tourism (SZSE:000888) has been managing tourist tickets, passenger ropeways, hotel services, and transportation to and from Emei Shan since 1997.

The company sports good quality earnings, increasing gross margins and a free cashflow yield of 11.45%.

Apart from tourism development groups, travel agencies are another key beneficiary of Golden Week.

Online travel agency Trip.com (NASDAQ:TCOM) is one of the leading service providers in China (and internationally). The company owns multiple popular travel agency brands such as Skyscanner, Ctrip, and Qunar which help travellers book flights, packaged tours, accommodation and insurance, all without leaving those platforms.

On a cursory glance, the company does not pay dividends, but has been boosting growth in revenues and earnings for the past 5 years while lowering debt levels.

Food & Beverages

F&B is another one of the sectors expected to see a huge surge in demand from Golden Week every year. Restaurants such as Haidilao International Holdings (SEHK:6862) have reported full bookings across the entire week as people leave their homes to celebrate the National Day and enjoy a good meal with family and friends.

Haidilao is well-known across China (and in Singapore) for their novel service culture despite charging premium prices. While still a relatively young company established in 2015, the hotpot chain already dominates in the catering industry with a market share of 13.70%.

With this year’s Golden Week coinciding with Mid-Autumn festival, we also expect to find makers of baked goods getting a double boost in orders. While restauranteurs like Guangzhou Restaurant Group (SSE:603043) sell their own mooncakes, we want to highlight dedicated bakeries such as Ganso Co (SSE:603886) and Toly Bread (SSE:603866).

Ganso (元祖) is a Taiwanese bakery which set foot in Shanghai in 1993. Since then, they have expanded to over 260 stores in 53 cities and produce a variety of Western and Chinese cakes and pastries, aside from mooncakes this season.

Gross margins are surprisingly strong at ~60%, surpassing many peers. According to preliminary reports, Ganso’s baked goods are a favorite go-to among corporates to send as gifts to clients.

Toly Bread is up next. A top 3 brand in the baked goods industry, Toly’s strength is in its wide distribution network and marketing prowess across supermarkets and convenience stores. Gross margins have been increasing with debt levels extremely conservative.

We also cannot forget China’s top white horseKweichow Moutai (SSE:600519), which is likely to also benefit greatly from senior Chinese officials and business executives toasting rounds of its baijiu to celebrate!

Movie still of the film The Founding of A Republic taken on 6 April 2009 shows Chinese actor Tang Guoqiang, front left, acting Mao Zedong, toasting with Chinese actor Zhang Guoli, front right, acting Chiang Kai-shek.

Retail

While retail volumes are still below normal on a year-on-year basis, the Golden Week has boosted transactions at malls and supermarkets by over 30% during this period. Based on data from previous years, we note that household appliances and automobile buying is expected to get a lift.

More specifically, since ecommerce sales have scooped up much of the demand for smaller and lower-value retail goods during the COVID-19 lockdown…we expect Golden Week to absorb demand for the rest of the retail category – namely large home appliances and cars, where consumers would feel more comfortable first physically seeing the items then purchasing.

We highlight Midea Group (SZSE:000333) as the leading large home appliances maker in China – with a domestically-focused demographic. Midea holds the #1 position in air-conditioning, and top 3 positions in large and small cooking appliances (ie. induction hobs).

On the automobile side, consumers are looking for the latest technology and we know that Electric Vehicles (EV) are all the rage these days…

…which is why EV manufacturers like BAIC Motors (SEHK:1958) may benefit in this short period.

BAIC makes its own brand of cars – but more notably, it is also the exclusive maker for luxury brand Mercedes Benz and South Korea’s Hyundai cars sold in China. Margins have been stable over the years, operating on a net cash position with an enviable 5.86% dividend yield.

8 Golden Ideas for China’s Golden Week

China’s Golden Week marks the peak period of consumption.

Due to the unique circumstances of 2020, the Chinese are spending more domestically. This was especially prominent in the travel industry, due to travel restrictions.

We’ve shared 8 Chinese companies that could have made a killing in 2020’s Golden Week;

  1. Emei Shan Tourism (SZSE:000888)
  2. Haidilao International Holdings (SEHK:6862)
  3. Guangzhou Restaurant Group (SSE:603043)
  4. Ganso Co (SSE:603886)
  5. Toly Bread (SSE:603866)
  6. Kweichow Moutai (SSE:600519)
  7. Midea Group (SZSE:000333)
  8. BAIC Motors (SEHK:1958)

We hope this article has given you some ideas. (But do not treat these as investment advice!)

Did we miss out on any interesting companies? Let us know in the comments below.